Man jailed for pointing toy gun at police

John Bravin pointed a toy gun at police

By Niamh Anderson

A MAN who pointed a toy gun belonging to his eight-year-old brother at police officers has been jailed for two years.

John Bravin sparked a full armed alert when he pointed the black mock gun when officers were called to his family home in Edinburgh to deal with a disturbance in July this year.

On arrival, constables Graham McKenzie and Nicola Walker found Bravin lying in the bed of his eight-year-old brother, intoxicated.  

Bravin then pointed a black gun at the police and they immediately backed out of the room and closed the door behind them, it was heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The 22-year-old’s behaviour resulted in the launch of the Lothian and Borders Police armed response unit, the court heard.

Bravin admitted pointing the imitation firearm at both police officers. He also pleaded guilty to threatening the officers with violence and attempting to barricade himself into a room.

Both offences happened in July this year.

Fiscal depute Isabel Clark said: “The accused had barricaded himself into the room and was shouting that the police officers ‘would get it’ if they came into the room.”

The officers then called for assistance from the Lothian and Borders Police armed response unit and asked Bravin to release the gun out of the window.

But then they found that the black gun with silver stars was in fact a toy belonging to his eight-year-old brother.

The fiscal described the Chinese made gun as being “black with silver stars”.

She said Bravin was apologetic for his actions.

“He said sorry for causing any inconvenience to the armed response unit and for wasting police time. He was apologetic,” she added.  

His behaviour was described as “very odd” by defence agent Sandra Walker. She said Bravin had recently lost a friend and had visited his grave on the day of the incident.

She said: “He has been in custody since July and fully accepted what he had done at an early stage.

“A friend of his died one month before the incident and he and a friend went to visit his grave where they consumed a lot of alcohol. He then went home drunk.

“When his sister called the police, he was asleep in his brother’s room where there were a lot of toys. One of the toys in his room was a black gun with silver stars on it which was already lying on the bed.

“He can’t explain why he did it but he turned and pointed it at the police.”

When the armed response unit arrived, “he realised how stupid he had been,” she added.

The defence agent said Bravin was suffering from an underlying alcohol problem which stemmed from the illness of his mother -who was diagnosed with HIV.

Sheriff Paul Arthurson QC said that there was no other alternative but a custodial sentence.